Sunrise presents awards at annual meeting


BENNINGTON >> Sunrise Family Resource Center held its Annual Meeting at the Bennington Museum Wednesday. This was the first annual meeting for the new Executive Director, Lindsay Errichetto, who assumed leadership of Sunrise on June 1 after serving as the director of Louison House in North Adams,Mass. She welcomed about 85 friends, donors, community partners, and the guest speaker, Edi Pasalis, executive director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Mass. During the past year seven members of Sunrise staff participated, by invitation, in a longitudinal research project conducted at Kripalu with Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital, on ways that yoga practice and self-regulation can heal trauma and catalyze systemic change in front line providers of social services. Ms. Pasalis praised Sunrise and its work with families who have experienced chronic trauma, and expressed her appreciation for the developing partnership between Sunrise and Kripalu.

New board members — Nancy Thompson, Joe Holt, and Lisa Ellis — were seated at the meeting, joining Anne Mook, chair of the Sunrise Board of Directors, Peter Lawrence, vice chair, Kay Trafton, and Genevieve Plunkett.

Honored at the meeting with the Individual Award for Distinguished Service was local landlord, Peter Cross, who owns 200 units in Bennington. Over the last decade he has worked closely with Sunrise staff, housing families in crisis and working with tenants who have poor rental histories. His willingness to give young people second and third chances, and his service on five landlord panels of the Renters' 101 class, won him a standing ovation from the gathering at the annual meeting last night.

In addition, Sunrise gave Community Partner Awards to: Vicky Senni of Let's Grow Kids, the early childhood education and advocacy campaign to "Focus on the First Years," the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks #567, represented by Bill Bryan, Cat Blanchard of the Visiting Nurses Association, Ralph Bennett, director of Vermont School for Girls, and Brenda Schramm of Vermont Birth-to-Five.

The Sunrise staff award — The Bonnie Prentiss Award, named for a beloved early childhood teacher who died in 2007—was given by staff to Sharon Millette, mother of six, grandmother of 23, and great- grandmother of many, who is also the early childhood program cook, "floater: and resident "baby whisperer." Terry Yavaniski, early childhood and family mental health specialist, was recognized for 15 years of service at Sunrise.

The buffet dinner was provide by Ryan and Heather Hassett of Bringing You Vermont, a Main Street emporium that sells only Vermont-made products and gifts, including delicious food made from scratch.

For more information about Sunrise Family Resource Center contact Amelia Silver, Development Director at, 802-442-0010, go to our website at or like us on Facebook:


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